House approves bills designed to ease teacher shortage

Published 2:59 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

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Legislation containing several provisions which are designed to ease the teacher shortage in Kentucky, won unanimous approval in the Kentucky House on Friday.

House Bill 377 is sponsored by Rep. Kim Banta, R-Ft. Mitchell, a retired teacher, who described its provisions when presenting it on the House floor.

“This would pay student teachers a stipend of $5,000,” she said. “Teachers would also have an opportunity for loan forgiveness after they graduate. It is for public school teachers once they graduate to work in a public institution.”

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Rep. Tina Bojanowski, D-Louisville, who is also a teacher, thanked Banta for sponsoring the bill. She mentioned remarks made by Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Polio before a legislative committee.

“He called for us to do three things: get more teachers in the seats and keep them there, get more bus drivers and get our students to school,” Bojanowski said. “This bill directly impacts getting more teachers in the seats and supporting them when they get there, so I fully support this bill.”

The vote on the bill was 87-0,

The House also approved, among other measures:

–HB 621, which adds the North American Championship Rodeo and the National Farm Machinery Show’s Championship Tractor Pull to the list of shows and expositions owned and operated by the State Fair Board. It passed 88-0

–HB 12, to prohibit the building, reconstructing, remodeling, or renovation of a jail unless it is a regional jail and the General Assembly provides express approval.  There would be exceptions to the ban, such as when a court has ordered jail construction, construction is necessary to comply with state or federal law or regulations, or to replace or rebuild a facility following a catastrophic event. It cleared the chamber 87-2.

All three measures now go to the Senate for their consideration.